In defence of Olivier Giroud: Why Karim Benzema was wrong to make ‘go-kart’


Karim Benzema slated his compatriot Olivier Giroud by comparing him to a ‘go-kart’ earlier this week.

But the Chelsea man played a vital role in France‘s World Cup victory as Benzema could only watch on from afar.

Benzema took a swipe at Giroud as the ‘go-kart’ to his ‘Formula One’ to describe what he believes is the difference in quality between them, despite being replaced him in the French team.  

Karim Benzema slated his compatriot Olivier Giroud by comparing him to a 'go-kart' this week

Karim Benzema slated his compatriot Olivier Giroud by comparing him to a ‘go-kart’ this week

Benzema derided Olivier Giroud in an Instagram live video with actor Tomas N'Gijol

Benzema derided Giroud in an Instagram live video with actor Tomas N’Gijol

‘You don’t confuse Formula One with go-karting. And I’m being kind. Next… and I know I’m F1,’ he said in an Instagram Live video this week. 

While both Giroud and Benzema have represented their country, Benzema was exiled from the team in 2015, largely owing to his role in the sex-tape scandal that saw his one-time France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena blackmailed.

Giroud was the one to replace him and although he may be the forward who went 546 minutes without a goal in Russia, he deserves to savour his World Cup victory as much as any of his team-mates.

Les Bleus were reliant on him to draw defenders, press opponents and provide through balls with his deft flicks and aerial dominance for either Antoine Griezmann or Kylian Mbappe to exploit during the showpiece event.

Starting the tournament on the bench, Giroud was brought on after 70 minutes in France’s opening game against Australia.

The scores were level but after just 10 minutes on the pitch his flick-on forced an own goal from Aziz Behich to put Didier Deschamps’s men ahead.

The Chelsea man played a vital role in France's World Cup victory as Benzema watched on

The Chelsea man played a vital role in France’s World Cup victory as Benzema watched on

Giroud, who is well liked by Deschamps, went on to start the rest of France’s games – most often at the expense of Ousmane Dembele.

The forward provided his team with two assists, a 75 per cent long-pass success rate (thanks to his latching onto them) and over 21.5 passes per 90 minutes during their seven games.

Giroud’s defensive work was vitally important to France winning the World Cup and was apparent in every knockout game and during the semi-final and the final itself.

Real Madrid forward Benzema was exiled from the France national team five years ago

Real Madrid forward Benzema was exiled from the France national team five years ago

His pressing lead was evident in France’s 2-0 victory over Uruguay as he stopped various attacks at the source. The same defensive tenacity was on show against Belgium as he dropped deep, leaving space behind for the pace of Griezmann and Mbappe to counter, and then again against Croatia as he brought Paul Pogba into the game by pressing their centre-backs higher up the pitch.

‘He is a player who is unjustly criticised. Goals, you have to score them. Even though he didn’t at the World Cup, he was crucial too, which is good,’ said Deschamps.

‘He is closing in, the years are going by, on the end. But he is still here. He still has the desire and this freshness. He needs to keep that.’

Giroud’s…



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